One of the most common mistakes we see that impact a player’s success on the court is their grip choice. It is important to learn the correct grips as the wrong grip can reduce your power, minimise the control of your shots and increase the risk of injury.
The 4 grips used in badminton are:
These 4 grips are all used for different shots, and it’s important to learn and practice each of them so that they become engrained into your game and are easy to perform in a match!
The easiest way to learn the forehand grip is to pretend you are shaking someone’s hand.
As you can see from the photo, you want to have this ‘V Shape’, and have a little space between your index finger and middle fingers.
Your fingers should be loosely around the grip, and this is important for all 4 grips. If you are gripping the racket too tightly, then it becomes much more difficult to quickly change between grips when necessary in the middle of a rally. A tight grip will also limit your ability to generate control and power in your shots.
The forehand grip is used for:
The easiest way to learn the backhand grip is to set up with your thumb on top of the wider section of the grip, with your strings facing the floor & ceiling like in the photo below. Your fingers should be relaxed around the side.
The backhand grip is used for:
The backhand grip shouldn’t be used when playing backhand shots in the rear-court, we’ll now explain why and show what the correct grip for this is.
To learn the bevel grip you can start in a backhand grip and move your racket head round so that your strings are now facing diagonally, and your thumb is on the ridge / bevel. You would move the racket anti-clockwise from your backhand grip if you are right handed, and clockwise from this position if you are left handed.
The bevel grip is used for:
You need to have a different thumb position depending on where you are making contact with the shuttle on your backhand side, this is why the bevel grip is used.
If the shuttle is really far behind you then you should move the grip around to a panhandle grip.
The panhandle grip is where you have the thumb on the side of the racket, pinching the sides with your thumb and fingers in the position shown below.
The panhandle grip is the one that actually comes most naturally to beginners because it’s easy to hit overhead shots with – but contrary to what many players use this for, the panhandle grip is used for:
Whilst the amount of different grips there are for different shots may be overwhelming at first, we promise that with some practice you’ll get to a point where changing quickly between these grips comes naturally!
So how do you practice changing your grip?
Well we would recommend getting comfortable changing grips without a shuttle first. Visualise certain shots you are playing and what grip you should be in to best perform this shot.
Once you have done this then add in some movement, again without hitting a shuttle! This will help you further get used to changing your grip and becoming more comfortable knowing which grip you should be using for each shot.
If you have completed this stage, or just want to practice speeding up your grip changes as opposed to learning them, then move onto practices with a shuttle.
It may be a good idea to start off with a conditioned routine where you are switching grips after every shot. This may be playing a backhand defensive shot followed by a forehand defensive shot, or a backhand drive followed by a forehand drive – you could even do these against a wall if you don’t have anyone to practice with!
You would then advance the routine so that you don’t know which side the shot is coming to. This will help you make the quick grip changes and also the decisions of when you need to change your grip!
Finally, you would try to put these skills to the test in an open routine or even go straight into matchplay.
The best players are so used to changing grips and choosing the right grips they don’t even know they’re doing it – it’s trained into the unconscious mind. And that’s what we want to happen with any technique we learn!
We also created a YouTube video on everything we discussed above, so if you’re interested in more visual demonstrations of how to hold the racket and shots you can play with the different grips, you can check it out below!
We hope you have found this blog post useful, feel free to comment below – we’d love to hear from you!